Too Much of a Good Thing

I’ll be honest, lately I’ve been feeling tired of social media, tired and disappointed. It’s not a new thing for me. I’ve felt it coming on for some time now. The pandemic might be playing a big role in this–all the negativity out there, all the misinformation that sometimes helps fuel that negativity.

These days, anyone and everyone has an opinion about pretty much everything, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What tires me out is the way some people choose to express that opinion. I’m tired of the anger and frustration that I see, people lashing out, determined to be angry at others. Sometimes people are simply downright mean. They will say hurtful things about people they don’t even know. I’ll be honest, I’ve never understood why. Well, I do understand that it’s far easier to type words than to face a real person. Social media is renown for that. What I mean is, I don’t understand why anyone would purposely want to be mean–what is the purpose, the reason? It actually says much more about the person lashing out then the people they’re attacking.

People have always had a difference of opinion. I don’t see that as a bad thing. Different opinions and different ideas can help us keep an open mind and maybe help us consider something we’ve never thought of before. That can be exciting. It’s how we find out about new things. One thing I am certain of, that as a society we will never all agree. It’s impossible. Nor should we all agree.

Social media outlets have us clamouring to collect “LIKES” and comments for the things we post, to seek that instant validation from others. Most of us lap that up. I think that deep down all many of us want is to feel as though our lives matter, that we matter as a person and we look for that outside ourselves. We allow the opinions of others to carry more weight than our own. But this is the thing–those likes are not real. We often forget what we’ve hit the “LIKE” button for. We read so many posts in one day our brains go into overload.

I’m sure many of us have fallen into that trap from time to time. But social media isn’t real life. It’s artificial to the extent that we even have to question the sincerity of some of the comments we see. Yet many of us buy into it. We’re allowing Internet communities to replace the real people in our lives. That frightens me on many levels. When I was a child, a big highlight for me was the pie sales and dances held at what we called “the hall.” The hall would be filled with people, real people, who talked and laughed. They shared the latest gossip. You could feel the energy.

Remember when people called to have a chat, they dropped in for coffee, wrote letters and sent cards, they gave hugs, real hugs, not just a word encased in asterisks in the comment section? Remember that? Now we drop a few words on their social media posts. We text. Forget the use of proper sentences, that’s all gone. Now we leave behind a string of words for others on our “friends” list to decipher. Forget punctuation. What the heck is a comma, a semi-colon, a question mark, capital letter, a period placed at the end of it all? But this is our new reality.

We live busy lives, at least that’s what we tell ourselves. But people have always lived busy lives. Modern conveniences have freed up more time in our days, time that many of us choose to replace with social media.

I think probably the main thing is to find that balance in our lives and not allow the internet to dictate to us. Unplug from time to time and spend time with real people.

While I didn’t intend for this post to come out as a rant, it seems to have rant-like qualities and I apologize for that. I’ve just been reflecting upon some things as I take time to appreciate the REAL people in my life this Thanksgiving weekend. Perhaps my next post will about the positive aspects of social media–yes there are some positives.

Happy Thanksgiving Day. I hope this will be a day for you to pause and reflect upon all the people in your life that you have to be grateful for.

Not So Scary Scarecrows

“The Scarecrow watched the Woodman while he worked and said to him “I cannot think why this wall is here nor what it is made of.” “Rest you brains and do not worry about the wall,” replied the Woodman, “when we have climbed over it we shall know what is on the other side.”

Last weekend was the Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay. We may have been a week late but there were still plenty of scarecrows hanging around. We thought it would be a great place to take our American company. When people come all the way from Washington, over the Thanksgiving Day weekend,  you like to help make their journey a worthwhile one. Here are a few of the sights we saw.

I’m not sure how the Royal Family would feel about being scarecrows, but I think this display was one of my favourites.  Everyone’s here but Prince Harry.

Seems that Harry was there all along. He’s a little  under-dressed for the occasion, but that’s Harry for you. At least this time he was caught protecting the Crown Jewels!

Scarecrows have certainly come a long way since I was a girl. I loved all the colourful costumes.

The Simpsons are still as popular as ever.

This Marilyn Monro likeness was another favourite of mine.

This is just a few of the highlights from our trip to Mahone Bay. In reality there are far more scarecrows than I could possibly post. Mahone Bay is a lovely seas side town with so many beautiful sights to see. Before ending this post I’ll leave you with this lasting image of the three famous churches.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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